This research paper will explore the dynamics of the coaching relationship as it relates to factors, such as molarities and compatibilities, which influence the development and maintenance of effective relationships, as well as components that are critical to the client-coach relationship. We will also examine the influence of building relationships on coaching outcomes, which is more important than any other skill during the life coaching process. Building relationships and putting people first is the core Of life coaching.
Without knowing how to effectively build relationships with clients a life coach cannot develop his or her ability or business. The ability to form and create legislations is a requirement of a coach rather than a wanted skill (Backline’s & Garner, 2008). There are several key dynamics to building a successful coaching relationship. In this research paper we will examine the effect of relationship building on coaching and the influencing factors that assist in establishing and maintaining client-coach relationships (Boyce, Jackson, and Neal, 2010).
The two components used to provide an outline for examining the impact of the coaching relationship include the client-coach match characteristics, and key elements associated with developing the client-coach allegations. There are three main characteristics considered when matching coaches and clients. According to Boyce, Jackson and Neal (2010) they are “commonality in personal characteristics or experiences, compatibility in behavioral preferences, and credibility with coaching abilities in meeting client needs (p. 15). Key factors measured as it relates to their impact on coaching outcomes include: rapport, trust, commitment and collaboration (Boyce, et alarm 2010, p. 915). Client-Coach Matching Characteristics All coaching relationships begin and develop slowly, just like a stranger slowly comes a friend with time and effort. But not all relationships are a perfect match. Studies show that a good fit between a coach and a client are essential to the growth of a valuable coaching relationship (Boyce et a’, 2010).
Strong emphasis has been given to matching input. Boyce, Jackson and Neal (2010) describe matching “as the attempt to identify a coach tailored to meet the needs of a client and occurs in organizations using a list or “pool” of acceptable coaches pre-selected based on certain criteria, such as competence factors, referrals, or previous work with the organization” (p. 15). When matching coaches with clients possible factors to consider include commonality, compatibility, and credibility (Boyce et al, 2010). Commonality refers to the client and coach sharing common characteristics or experiences” (Boyce et al, 2010). These characteristics or experiences can be similar in the areas of demographics, professional background, and personal interests. Demographic characteristics refer to a client and coach’s race or ethnicity, age, and sex. Professional background refers to similarities in occupations, skills, training, and education (Boyce et al, 2010). Arsenal interests include hobbies, affiliations, activities, religious and sexual orientation (Boyce et al, 2010). Researchers insist that coaches are not able to understand the “social and psychological conflicts of the client” if they have different backgrounds, therefore, making it difficult to obtain confidence and cooperation from the client throughout the coaching process (Boyce et al, 201 0, p. 916). Supposedly, if commonality between a coach and client are high, then rapport and trust will develop easily and more rapidly (Boyce et al, 2010).
Boyce et al 2010) states, “the similarity-attraction hypothesis maintains that similarity is a major source of attraction between individuals and that a variety of physical, social, and status traits can be used as the basis for inferring similarity in attitudes and beliefs” (p. 916). “Compatibility refers to the appropriate combination of client and coach behavior preferences or the characteristics the client and coach possess that influence their cognitions and behaviors in various situations” (Boyce et al, 2010, p. 16). It is believed that coaches who are matched with clients based on their styles of behavior and similar rationalities are more likely to have a healthier relationship (Boyce et al, 2010). Then again, if a mismatched coaching relationship continues to exist the coach may be able to challenge the clients perspectives, which can result in higher performance outcomes (Boyce et al, 2010). Credibility is another important factor when matching coaches and clients.
Boyce, Jackson and Neal (2010) state that, “credibility refers to a coach possessing the necessary credentials to meet client needs and include coaching competence and experience” (p. 917). Not only does credibility involve the coach’s competence ND experience, but their ability to hold true to their word. Clients’ expect coaches’ to follow through on their word. With time, this ultimately forms the client’s perspective on how trustworthy and professional the coach is.
Studies have provided support that the lack of qualified reliability negatively impacts the client’s cooperation and their level of pleasure (Boyce et al, 2010). Competence is a vital consideration as it relates to credibility. A coach must be confident and aware of his or her own strengths and limitations, and know how to operate within those boundaries to avoid low credibility (Blockers, 005). Competence also has a responsibility in establishing client trust.
Key Factors related to the Client-Coach Relationship Establishing and sustaining trust is one of the key elements related to the success of a client-coach relationship. In the world of coaching trust “refers to the mutual confidence that supports the clients willingness to be open, honest, and vulnerable, and allows the coach to be supportive, non- judgmental, and challenging (Boyce et al, 201 0, p. 918). Not only is it important for a client to trust in a coach’s competence, but they must also establish trust in the person (Blockers, 2005).
Reciprocated trust in the coaching relationship creates a secure atmosphere for the client that promotes personal development, whereas a lack of trust lowers the level of satisfaction and the possibilities Of positive outcomes (Boyce et al, 2010). Neff (2011) reveals seven ways to establish client trust. They include: Setting realistic expectations, listening and learning what is important, creating an understanding of risk, being straightforward about fees, implementing a client communication plan, thinking beyond the portfolio hen interacting with clients, and building and developing skills.
After achieving trust in the client-coach relationship it does not stop there. As maintained by Backline’s and Garner (2008), “in a productive relationship the cycle is completed and new challenges and results are identified for the relationship, and the process begins again” (p. 4). “Neff (2011) states, “trust is paramount to bringing on new clients and creating the level of adviser-client relationships that lead to referrals” (p. 12). Developing rapport is vastly fundamental to the client-coach relationship.
Coaches need their linens to trust them and to feel as if they are being understood by the coach. For this reason, creating an extremely high level of rapport is significant. Rapport is also a significant way to trim down the dissimilarities between the coach and client and is more about focusing on similarities (Boyce et al, 2010). Having the ability to form a strong connection with a client is an essential quality a coach must have. But a coach cannot accomplish this type of social construct on his Or her own.
The coach and the client are both responsible for creating rapport and the stronger It is the higher the levels of satisfaction re within the coaching relationship (Boyce et al, 2010). “Rapport includes the mutual understanding, agreement, and liking between the client and coach that allows each to appreciate, recognize, and respect one another as individuals (Boyce et al, 2010, p. 917). Rapport is not a technique; rather it is a way of being with a client (Rogers, 2008). Real rapport between a coach and client requires authentic listening, matching each others body, voice, volume, pace, and energy (Rogers, 2008).
Rogers (2008) states, “real rapport comes from unconditional acceptance of the client” (p. 46). Which implies the coach mating to know what is like to be in the world of the client (Rogers, 2008). On the other hand, coaches must be careful to maintain an appropriate balance of rapport with the client. Studies suggest that rapport behaviors are linked to clients revealing more about themselves, being more compliant, satisfied, and able to retain; in addition to effective treatment outcomes (Boyce et al, 2010).
Lastly, commitment and collaboration are essential processes in the coaching relationship. As indicated by Boyce, Jackson and Neal (201 0), “commitment reflects the dedication of both the client and coach o perform the work associated with the coaching experience” (p. 918). A strong personal commitment includes a mutual understanding and pledge to be accountable for individual responsibilities in the client-coach relationship, like attending sessions, being available, and open socially (Boyce et al, 2010).
Boyce et al (2010) states, “encouraging and sustaining individual commitment is considered essential to coaching effectiveness ensuring the difficult tasks and necessary discussions are completed” (p. 918). Coaching Outcomes Backline’s and Garner (2008), point out that there are four primary purposes f a relationship: “To produce results: the relationship is a means to an end. It is concerned with agreeing goals with another person and meeting expectations.
To develop intimacy: the relationship is concerned with support, closeness, and connection To achieve autonomy: the relationship is concerned with individuality and independence To develop trust: the relationship is concerned with commitment” (p. 4). Relationships usually start with the purpose of achieving a goal (Backline’s & Garner, 2008). As the relationship develops, in trust and mutual respect, the purpose becomes ore about developing a genuine care for the other person, in addition to facilitating the person in achieving his or her specific goals through the relationship (Backline’s & Garner, 2008).
Ultimately, a need to affirm one’s uniqueness and differences evolves throughout the process towards autonomy. Finally, this brings about a conclusion determination whether or not the relationship is achieving the desired results (Backline’s & Garner, 2008). This model provides a framework that can be used for making sense of the coaching relationship and how it advances. The connection between Ewing an effective coach and having an effective relationship is that they both have a direct influence on the other.
The coach-client relationship is fundamental to the process of coaching and numerous researchers suggest that an effective coaching relationship brings about positive coaching outcomes (Boyce et al, 2010). In an empirical study off military leadership coaching program experience, Boyce et al (201 0), used Donald Kirkpatrick four levels of evaluation model, which includes reaction, learning, behavior, and results, as a basis for measuring the efficiency of the coaching allegations. Reactions referred to the clients subjective experience and evaluation about the program.
Behavior referred to the influence that the experience had on the client. Results referred to the achievement of the organizations objectives (Boyce et a’, 2010). After randomly and systematically matching clients and coaches based on their commonalities, compatibility, and credibility scores researchers found that the client-coach relationship is essential to successful coaching outcomes. They discovered that different aspects of the relationship, like rapport, which leads to positive sections between the all have an impact on coaching outcomes (Boyce et al, 2010).
Developing trust in the client-coach relationship is important to establish and is critical to both the coach and the client’s experience (Boyce et al, 2010). In a broader perspective, one of the added bonuses or outcomes from being an effective coach and having an effective client-coach relationship is the connections that are made during and after the coaching relationship comes to an end. Throughout the coaching process a coach might refer their client to other professionals who can also help them along he path to achieving their goals.
Alternatively, if a client is satisfied with the coaching relationship and achieves their goals in the end they develop a high opinion of the coach, and will more than likely refer others to him or her. So the power of networking lies in the connections that are made in the process of building the client-coach relationship. Obviously, there is more research to be done to determine how effective the client-coach relationship is. Nevertheless, based upon the support provided in this essay, we can safely assume that there is central value in the client-coach relationship and the allegations building process.